July 27, 2021 - It’s no secret – ISDN is old.
Most telcos plan to sunset all ISDN networks by 2025 at the latest. Many have already stopped maintaining ISDN infrastructure, allowing lines to fall into disrepair. While it was once the best option for remote broadcasting, crumbling technology means that’s no longer the case.
And because the technology is obsolete, the few telcos that still offer ISDN connections charge a fortune to install new lines. (A former ISDN user recently shared on Twitter that she’d spent £77,000 on her ISDN line over the years that it was in service. Ouch!)
ISDN was once the most reliable way to make a connection, but now, there’s a better way. IP audio technology has now been around for over a decade, and it’s become as solid as anything else. A hard-wired internet connection can sound even better than ISDN, at a fraction of the price.
At Comrex, we’ve been guiding radio and voice-over professionals through the transition from ISDN to IP audio for years now, and we’re here to help. Get inspired to take the leap with these stories from some of our successful users.
Making the transition from ISDN to IP
When WTOP, a news station serving Washington D.C., realized that it was time to get rid of ISDN, they decided to switch to Comrex ACCESS. Learn more about their story.
Navigating remote broadcasting workflows without the expense
Oregon Public Broadcasting has been using ACCESS IP audio codecs since the first one was released in 2011. "They allow us to go into parts of rural Oregon and broadcast the show from places that usually wouldn’t get a visit from a radio show like ours," said Stephen Kray, sound engineer for OPB. "We’ve gone all over the United States to do the show with ACCESS units."
When the pandemic hit, OPB was able to quickly get their hosts set up with ACCESS connections from home, without sacrificing audio quality.
"ISDN is not an option, and it hasn’t been for a long time — it’s not possible to get a line without a good deal of planning from any provider. (Not to mention, it’s prohibitively expensive — one time, an ISDN line was accidentally left connected over a four-day weekend, and we were stuck with a $6,100 bill.) ACCESS has been a great solution for us because in addition to sounding great, it doesn’t come with a line charge." – Stephen Kray, Sound Engineer for Oregon Public Broadcasting
Live music broadcasts over IP
Interlochen Public Radio is a public news and classical radio station that regularly broadcasts live concerts from Michigan-area orchestras. Because they’re transmitting live music, they need to preserve as much fidelity as possible, with no drops. With BRIC-Link II, they’ve been able to get rid of all their ISDN connections, in favor of IP networks.
"Our BRIC-Link II provides such great sound quality that it really does sound like the person being interviewed is in the same room as the host. It’s allowed us to replace the ISDN lines of the past which cuts costs as ISDN lines are becoming more expensive." – Gary Langley, Chief Engineer for Interlochen Public Radio